The Umbrella Academy was a television highlight of 2019 and I’ve practically been counting down the days for a second instalment.
Season 2 continues straight on from where we left the Hargreeves siblings and actually builds upon the story so far. Having individually been sent back to the different parts of time in Dallas in the early 1960’s we see how they have all built new lives for themselves with no clue of what’s happened in the present day after Vanya’s actions. Once Five finds them and they start to regroup, they delve into a new mystery surrounding their father (who may be a younger version but is just as awful), having to beat off new foes (The Swedes are very amusing) and most importantly try to prevent Doomsday and the end of the world (again).
Being set in the 60’s allows a vast amount of depth to this season as various members of the cast become embroiled in a pre accepting society where black people are still not treated as equals and the LGBTQ+ community are not accepted. I also liked that it gave insight into a time where there is minimal compassion or understanding for people with additional needs.
I find it difficult to pick a favourite character and even throughout this season I chopped and changed during each episode. We didn’t really get to know much about Diego previously but he’s completely brought to the forefront this time round and David Castaneda really uses the opportunity to show that Diego is so much more than just a poor man’s Batman. The introduction of Lila is a reminder of the vulnerability we saw in him in season one. Ritu Arya brings new excitement to the show with Lila as she provides some of the most interesting twists and gives an incredible performance in the final episode.
Emmy Raver-Lampman brings a new attitude to Allison who probably makes the most of being given a new life out of them all. In season 2 we see a much stronger Allison and we witness her spreading rumours so much more which I felt gave her character an increased amount of credibility.
We all love Klaus and once again, Robert Sheehan impeccably gives us huge amounts of humour as well as so much heart. Having formed a cult, Klaus is even more bonkers than before and having him reference lyrics from artists such as TLC, Backstreet Boys and Gloria Gaynor and using them as some sort of prophecies really made me giggle. His relationship with Ben is great to watch – especially as Justin H. Min really has his chance to shine this time round.
I felt that Luther really added humour to season 2 as well and in a character who has super strength you need to see other sides to them. Tom Hopper has the ability to pull faces which speak a hundred words and portrays this loveable, hard man brilliantly. Just don’t get in an elevator with him! I also noticed how fab the prosthetics are used to make his body look the way he does in the comics. Once again, Aidan Gallagher is superb as Five. He carries so much swag with the character that you truly believe you’re watching a grown man, not a kid pretending to be one.
It was difficult to guess where they would go with Vanya. Surely she would have been further outcast from her family after causing an apocalypse? Suffering from memory loss after being involved in a car accident may seem an easy way out, but it worked. She’s taken in by the family she falls victim to and makes some surprising relationships with them. The most surprising being with their son, Harlan. Ellen Page is pretty much mesmerising as Vanya and it’s fantastic to see just how powerful she really is. I think we will continue to be surprised by her strength the more we see her.
Some may say the superhero genre is becoming quite an over saturated variety of television, but The Umbrella Academy stands out amongst all the others. I can only think that’s because of the perfectly imperfect characters who are fantastically portrayed by a wonderful cast. If anything, season 2 builds on what we loved about its predecessor. At its heart it’s a story of a dysfunctional family who just happen to have special abilities and you find yourself really caring about them. Most of all it’s just good old fun. You’ll find yourself laughing, gasping in shock, possibly shedding the odd little tear and then waiting in anticipation for season 3 after it’s great cliffhanger.